A piece of Longview will be decking the halls at the state Capitol this year.
The office of state Rep. Jay Dean, R-Longview, sent a clear ornament and letter to Longview High School asking it to paint the ornament and send it back. The ornament will hang on the Christmas tree in the House Chamber of the Texas Capitol in Austin.
Three Pre-Advanced Placement Art 1 students at Longview High School each painted one-third of an ornament representing Gregg and Upshur counties.
Veronika Skye Sloan, 15, painted her third with an oil rig, while Lily Purdum, 14, painted hot air balloons on her third.
The final third, painted by Delia Fourie, 15, features a sunset over a lake with a silhouette of Santa’s sleigh. Instead of the typical “ho, ho, ho” quote in the sky for Santa, Delia wrote “alright, alright, alright,” a famous line from Longview High School alumnus and actor Matthew McConaughey.
All parts of the ornament depict East Texas’ pine trees.
Delia, Lily and Veronika were given the project Oct. 30 and completed the ornament Monday.
“It’s a cool thing to put our work on the Austin Christmas tree,” Delia said.
Veronika said once the group received the assignment, they immediately started brainstorming what to paint.
“I was thinking about it for the rest of the day,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘What can we do better?’”
Before the students started painting the ornament, they practiced on similar glass, Lily said. They experimented with different types of paints and what to spray on the ornament so the paint would not peel off.
Jeff Hull, lead art teacher, said when the counselor brought the project to him, Lily, Delia and Veronika were done with their work, and he selected them.
Hull said this is his second such project in about 20 years.
Veronika said she enjoyed working on the project with her classmates, even though they have different styles.
“We’ve all sat together since the beginning of school, so we’re kind of used to working on art just in general together,” she said. “It was really fun working on it together. It was a fun process.”